I need to talk about Abby Wambach's new girlfriend for a second, because she makes me angry. I fully own that some of this will sound like I'm jealous, and a year ago, you would have probably been right. But I digress.
Glennon Doyle Menton is a self-described "Christian Mommy Blogger." Once married to a dude and loving God all over the Internet, she met and fell in love with the arguably the biggest lesbian in the world.
Suddenly, Menton is now proclaiming "Love Wins" all over her social media and encouraging people to be who they are and accept others. She's become an overnight advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people in the world. Real heart-warming stuff.
What's less heart warming is the fact that she had to discover her own queerness to care. Before shacking up with Wambach, Menton never really said boo about acceptance, inclusion, or equality.
This, right here, is the problem in America: people don't give a shit until they have to.
I've noticed this trend most in the past year, but before that, too. We've all heard the way some people talk about panhandlers:
They're probably not even poor. I bet they go home to a nice house every night.
Nothing about this is a logical thought process. This is an excuse. An excuse you make so you don't have to wonder how this person got where they are or if they're hungry or where they will sleep tonight.
The same kind of flawed logic is used to detract from all kinds of causes today: the #BlackLivesMatter movement is unnecessary because we have a Black president. Women's bodies are for babies. Queer people have it pretty good and/or just want to convert everyone and have big gay orgies in the street. People in prison are evil and subhuman and deserve whatever they get. That cop shot that unarmed man because he didn't say "please" and "thank you." Not all men are rapists.
As soon we are confronted with the reality of injustice, we call up some well-worn reason why we don't have to care. What is that? Why are we allergic to empathy?
Are we afraid that if we start feeling for others, we won't be able to stop? Are we scared of how deep and wide that vein really is? Are we worried that we've known how bad it was all along and can't handle the crushing guilt of our inaction? Are we terrified that radical compassion might mean upending everything we know about ourselves, our families, our friends, our jobs?
I know it's a lot to take in. In the last two weeks, I've felt all of these emotions, and more. Many others are (thankfully) waking up to allyship and social action, because they have decided to take an antihistamine and let themselves feel the weight of it all, even if they don't have to. As a country, we can't move forward without these deep, aching feelings and hard conversations. And it shouldn't take being Black or knowing someone who's trans to make you a good, considerate human being.
In short: if you find yourself making excuses not to care right now, because you don't know anyone who will suffer from the policies and people our president-elect seeks to inflict upon us, so what? Isn't it enough that millions will suffer, even if they don't share your DNA or zip code?
Maybe ask Santa for a heart this year and get involved before you "have" to. Because millions of us don't have the choice.